California. Why now. How does it compromise.

                                  These are involuntary
                        They have got great
                        heft to them.

Sunday like February

remembering the insufficiency of fish on Fridays,
the hunger for something, some
envoy, to say

                                    come home, I love you,
                                    I’m tired of smoking alone

I am writing a vacation guide to Purgatory.
It is composed in shoals & obelisks;

seventy-seven pages of lissome histrionics,
of a birthing position, some anarchic Aphrodite

                                    (I was a curious child),

hell-bent on the mirific vision of dream canyons,
            a scimitar on the hip of the night watch.


This is a drama in at least three acts
that unfolds within the space of a single room.

Several rooms, actually, but only one
at a time,
                        & always the voice pernoctating

                        the dark downstairs,

            some name straining

to speak one name:

            Or misreading another line:

            My opium makes all light more radiant.

The font of them, those grandfather nights toward
the junkyards, the eirons, the lonesome farms.

So good-bye, Dolores Park, I hardly knew you.

            The noir of your

                        contours was never enough.

Counting down old cornrows, christening them
individual mermaids, tailed and named—

Samovar, Minotaur, Dime-store, Petit-four.

                                   The coupling in the corner
                                   room, the want of it.

An eyelash valentine off the wharf’s border,
a hand in yours.